How to Get Rid of Foxtails

Foxtail grass is one of the toughest types of grasses to get rid of. It grows quickly and spreads easily, making it a major nuisance for homeowners and gardeners alike. If you are wondering how to do it, we can help you out on this topic. In this guide, we will discuss the best ways to get rid of foxtail grass and keep it from coming back.

What is foxtail grass and how do you identify it?

Foxtail grass is a perennial weed that can grow up to three feet tall. It has narrow leaves at the base of its stem and long, slender blades above ground level. The plant’s name comes from its seed head, which resembles the tail of a fox (hence “foxtail”).

Foxtails are common in many parts of North America and Europe; they thrive under conditions where there is little competition for resources such as water or sunlight.

What causes foxtail grass?

Foxtails are caused by a variety of factors. Some of which are:

  1. They are caused by using poor materials such as wood chips or plastic mulch. These materials can break down and provide an environment where the plant grows well but cannot flourish due to a lack of nutrients.
  2. Foxtails occur when there is insufficient moisture for the plants to thrive in their normal habitat. Foxtails will often invade an area that is too dry, such as a lawn or garden.
  3. They are the result of improper mowing techniques which do not remove all of the seed heads from the plants. If even a small number of these seeds fall to the ground and germinate, you will end up with an infestation of foxtails.
  4. They can be introduced into an area by animals that are carrying the seeds on their fur or in their droppings.
  5. Finally, foxtails can grow from weed remnants left in the soil after a previous garden was pulled up. If any of these weed fragments germinate, you will end up with foxtails.

Why should you get rid of Foxtail grass?

You need to get rid of Foxtail grass because it can cause a lot of problems for you and your family. Not only is it an eyesore, but it can also be dangerous.

The grasses are common in lawns and gardens, but they can also be nuisance plants. The foxtail plant has a sharp spike that can stick into your pets and children. If the seed sticks in your pet’s skin or ear, it can cause an abscess or infection. Foxtail seeds can also get stuck in your nose, mouth, or ears, which may require surgery to remove.

It can also be very difficult to get rid of foxtail grass. It can grow in almost any soil and will take root if it gets wet.

How do you prevent foxtail grass?

You may not be able to get rid of all your foxtails, but if you take some steps now, it will help keep them from spreading too fast. Here are ways to prevent foxtail grass:

  • Keep your lawn mowed short and remove any dead grass or debris.
  • Water your lawn deeply but infrequently; foxtails prefer dry conditions.
  • Apply a pre-emergent herbicide in late winter or early spring to help control new growth.
  • Remove the foxtail weeds when they are young. The young foxtails are easier to pull off the ground. You can also use a hoe or tiller to cut them off at their roots.

How do you get rid of foxtail grass?

Foxtail grass can be a beautiful addition to your lawn, with its soft and delicate foxtails that sway in the wind. But it can also be an invasive weed that creeps into your flower beds and kills the more fragile plants. It’s important to know how to take care of your foxtail grass so you can enjoy its beauty without the negative effects.

There are several methods you can use to get rid of this weed, depending on its location and how widespread it is. Here are some ways:

Hand pulling

This is the most labor-intensive option, but it’s effective if only a few plants are present.

Pull up the foxtail weeds with your hands, starting at the edges of the infestation and working toward the center. If you have an infestation in a large space, you’ll need to break it down into smaller pieces first so that you’ll be able to reach into the centers of the patches.

Use gloves when pulling up foxtails, as they can be dangerous if they puncture your skin. Be sure to pull out the entire plant, including the root system.

Chemical Control

By taking samples to your local county extension office, you can identify the type of foxtail that you have before applying chemical controls to your lawn or garden. Some types of foxtail are more resistant than others to certain chemicals.

If the foxtail grass is located in an area where you cannot manually remove it or there are more plants present, you can use an herbicide to kill it.

Spray young and small foxtail infestations with an herbicide containing glyphosate, triclopyr, or dicamba. Spray larger infestations with a systemic herbicide containing imazapyr or sulphonyflurea. These herbicides will translocate to the roots of the foxtail grass and kill it. Follow the directions on the herbicide label for application instructions.

Biological control

There are several types of insects that prey on foxtail grass; one example is the weevil (Mycotrupes sp.). Contact your local extension office for more information about biological control methods in your area.


If the foxtail grass is in a garden bed or other place where it can be easily dug up, this is a good option. Make sure to remove the entire root system.


If you have a lot of foxtail grass, mulching can be an effective way to control it. Mulch will help keep the soil moist and inhibit new growth. Be sure to use heavy-duty mulch that will not break down easily.


If you have a small infestation, you can mow it down and remove it from your lawn that way. Be sure to bag up the clippings, so they don’t spread elsewhere.

How do you keep foxtail grass from coming back?

Once you have removed all the plants, there are a few things you can do to keep them from coming back:

  • Keep your lawn healthy and well-maintained.
  • Remove any debris or dead plants that may provide a place for foxtail grass to grow.
  • Apply an herbicide regularly; follow the instructions carefully.
  • Keep an eye on your lawn and remove any new foxtail plants as soon as you see them.
  • Pre-emergent herbicide: One of the best ways to prevent foxtail grass from coming back is to apply a pre-emergent herbicide in late winter or early spring. This will kill any new seeds that may germinate and start to grow.

If you follow these tips, you can take care of your foxtail grass and enjoy its beauty without the negative effects.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you kill foxtails with vinegar?

Yes, you can kill foxtail grass with vinegar. Add a cup of white vinegar to one gallon of water. Put the solution in a spray bottle and spritz it onto the foxtail grass for immediate results.

Does burning foxtail kill the seeds?

Yes, burning foxtail does kill the seeds. You can burn it if you have a large patch of foxtail grass or in places where the use of herbicides is prohibited. How long you burn it will depend on how much foxtail there is to kill. If your aim is to get rid of just one or two foxtail grass, simply pile it up and light a match.

Does roundup for lawns kill foxtails?

Yes, Roundup for lawns will kill foxtail grass. You can either use a ready-made product or make your own by mixing one gallon of water with two tablespoons of glyphosate herbicide.

Will goats eat foxtail?

Yes, goats will eat foxtail. They are particularly fond of the seed heads. So, if you have a goat or know someone who does, they can be used to clear an area of foxtail grass.

Can you mow down foxtail?

You can mow down foxtail, but it is not recommended. While mowing down foxtail may kill it, you will not be able to get rid of the seeds. They will simply scatter over a larger area and cause more problems in the future.

Can dogs eat foxtails?

No, dogs cannot eat foxtails as they are toxic to them. If your dog has ingested foxtail, it can be very dangerous. The foxtails get into the dog’s body and start to work their way out of the body by poking through various organs. This causes swelling and intense pain.

Can you kill foxtails with bleach?

Yes, you can kill foxtails with bleach, but it is not recommended because it can also kill other plants. Add a gallon of water to a half cup of bleach and put it in a spray bottle. Spray the solution directly onto the foxtail grass until it is wet.


Foxtail grass can be corrected if you start the process early. You should get rid of Foxtail grass by making sure the foxtail seed has been destroyed and not allowing the wind or animals to pass it on to other places.

The next step is making sure the areas that have been affected by this grass are sprayed with herbicides that are effective in getting rid of the grass. You can also make use of one or two treatments in order to completely get rid of this fast-growing plant.